Magazine article Ebony

Winter Car Care

Magazine article Ebony

Winter Car Care

Article excerpt

IF it's already there, preparing your car for wintertime driving should probably be at the top of your fall to-do list. That's because whether your family plans include Aunt Betty's house for Thanksgiving or grandma's for Christmas, a car that won't start is the last thing you want to worry about during the upcoming holidays.

The old adage, "It's better to be safe than sorry," definitely applies to ensuring that your car is functioning properly. So getting it tuned up by a reputable mechanic before the onset of bad weather is one of the most important things you can do. Also, it's wise to be prepared for roadside emergencies which seem to occur more frequently during winter months. The following suggestions can go a long way toward preventing many costly, potentially dangerous wintertime car problems.

* Make sure your automobile's owner's manual is always nearby. It contains crucial information on the correct care of your particular car.

* Become an attentive car owner. Is the engine stalling or difficult to start on cold winter mornings? Is the steering wheel unstable or the brake pedal unreliable on icy pavement? Are there unfamiliar grunts and groans coming from under the hood? Have your car serviced right away if any of these indicators of possible trouble crop up.

* Check your antifreeze and make sure the car's radiator is clear of gunk and other debris. The solution's effectiveness is reduced if you don't use the right mixture, so follow most manufacturers' recommendation of a 50/50 antifreeze-water ratio.

* Have your automobile's spark plugs and ignition system checked even though today's high-energy ignitions and the common use of unleaded fuel usually make frequent spark plug changes unnecessary. And while the mechanic is under your hood, have the hoses checked for signs of hardening and the heater examined for possible leaks. …

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